Are All Referrals Created Equal? the Impact of Social Connections on Consumer Discounts

Bryan R. Johnson, Pennsylvania State University, USA
William T. Ross, Jr., Pennsylvania State University, USA
In this paper, we examine the economic impact of different types of referrals consumers use to connect to firms as they make purchases. As part of a continuing case study, we test initial data from a small automotive business to demonstrate the differential impact of social relationships on consumer discounts. We draw upon social capital theory to guide our research and to illustrate the extensive influence of social relationships in consumer settings. Our research extends social capital theory’s fundamental notion by assigning a precise dollar value to the various types of referral relationships used by consumers to make purchases.
[ to cite ]:
Bryan R. Johnson and William T. Ross, Jr. (2009) ,"Are All Referrals Created Equal? the Impact of Social Connections on Consumer Discounts", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 879-879.